This past Saturday I was at a Seattle Sounders game with my family. For those of you who aren’t local, the Sounders are Seattle’s pro soccer team. And for those of you who aren’t local to the US, that would be pro football team. While at the game I was struck by the sea of green that surrounded me. The expansive pitch, the players on the field in their home green jerseys, over 38,000 thousand fans many sporting bright green shirts and scarves, green streamers flying through the air and green flags waving in the stands. I even sported a green blazer to get in the team spirit. Since it was coincidentally Cinco de Mayo, I was also drinking a lime green margarita. But I digress.
Surrounded by all that green my mind couldn’t help but wander to another green topic that I think about often since joining MicroVision a few months ago as marketing communications director. And it wasn’t because there was no score in the game for the first 60 minutes. Honest. But I digress again.
It will come as no surprise to followers of MicroVision reading this blog post that green lasers are something that we all think about here. A lot. We have been meeting the development milestones for our next generation HD PicoP display technology based on direct green lasers (PicoP Gen2) in line with our objectives for 2012. We demonstrated at CES the HD quality 25 lumen image our Gen2 engine produces and continue to show it off in many ongoing meetings with potential customers. We have stated that we expect the direct green lasers that are part of the Gen2 solution to be available commercially for the introduction of Pioneer’s after-market HUD product in line with their launch plans this summer. This product will be the first to market embedding an “Image by Pico” generated by our PicoP Gen2 display technology. We have also discussed in our February and April earnings conference calls that from our work with samples we have identified the modifications that are needed when incorporating direct green lasers into our PicoP display engine for consumer product applications and expect to complete those modifications after the Pioneer after-market HUD launch. And as mentioned above, we continue to meet with potential customers for consumer products and vehicle displays.
The advantages of direct green lasers over the previously available synthetic version of green lasers extend beyond the technical aspects. Lower prices and availability in higher volumes are business benefits of direct green lasers. The price of direct green lasers is understandably a topic of speculation since the manufacturers of the diodes have not publicly discussed pricing or even the exact timing of commercial availability. We cannot reveal specifics around these issues, but we can and have stated that we expect the prices of direct green lasers to be significantly less than synthetic green lasers which have cost nearly $200. We are confident that the manufacturers of the direct green lasers will be able to meet the volume requirements as the market demand for direct green lasers grows, and we expect price to fall accordingly.
Our shareholders are following the topic of direct green lasers with avid interest and we get a lot of questions from them on price and availability. They have ridden the green laser wave with MicroVision and are understandably anxious for their investment and patience to pay off. There is another group of MicroVision watchers that take an active interest in direct green lasers and for that matter, all things MicroVision and have quite a bit to say. We welcome such interest as we are really proud of what our patented solution can do and the advancements we have made with the PicoP Gen2 display technology. But it does get tiring to have an open mic of misinformation from parties who only seem to have an interest in not seeing Microvision succeed. We try and ignore this contingent just like the best thing to do when a fly is buzzing around your head is to ignore it. Eventually the fly finds something or someone else to buzz around and the problem resolves itself.
So back to that Sounders game that inspired this post. It took 63 minutes, or 2/3 of the elapsed time of the game, for the Sounder’s Mauro Rosales to score a goal. More green streamers flying through the air as the jubilant crowd cheered him on. And with that one goal scored late in the game, the Sounder’s won. And I thought about having a second margarita. But I digress. Again.